Concreting and Concrete

Concreting and Concrete

The Romans didn’t invent the concrete, they just made it better, so that they could build better, stronger, bigger and taller buildings. Reinforced concrete was first developed around the First World War for technical reasons.During the World War 2, reinforced concrete will be extensively used in military constructions of buildings. After the war, concrete is the material of choice for most architects with some terrible aesthetic results.

There are some simple rules for concreting and mixing concrete. Unless you want to build a Dam or a very tall building. Most professionals takes concrete samples, send them to a laboratory and test the samples for every concrete poured on a building site. If the concrete mix is not strong enough or doesn’t pass the test, the concrete is taken out, at a major cost for the builders.
concrete dam

For paths, drives, foundations, and floors for outbuildings, concrete is the material; mixing and laying it demands only limited skill. Some simple rules for simple concrete mixing.
concrete foundation

Lafarge cement, an European cement maker in UK (this is not advertising for Lafarge, there could be better cement brands out there) is suitable for almost anything you are likely to do around the house. It comes in heavy paper sacks which really are heavy and not easy to handle. Some spare pair of hands to help will be very much appreciated, but don’t fall for this trick;

Mixing the cement – concrete

Cement is mixed with aggregates,sharp sand and stones; for paths and drives the easiest material is all-in-ballast, a combination of stones and sand.Ideally aggregates should be stored on boards or a sheet of metal; if they are dumped on to bare earth you won’t be able to use the bottom earth-contaminated layer. You can buy ballast by the yard, J, yard, or yard (which means cubic yards) or by eight-yard truckloads. Cement and sand, or cement and aggregate, can also be bought by the bag, ready mixed,dry; you just add water. It is expensive this way, but convenient for small jobs. The final material for mixing concrete is water. Concrete hardens by the incorporation of water into the chemical structure, so it must be clean water. For paths and drives, the best mix is one part of cement by volume (use a box or a bucket) to five or six of all-in ballast.
Robuild London Builders are using ready mixed C25 concrete for foundations, delivered by a lorry concrete and on site mixing is done only when there is small amount of concrete needed.
concrete lorry pump

North London Builders in Finchley

Builders in Finchley, North London

North London Builders, specialists in property renovations, additions and alterations. Our Finchley & North London services include maintenance, refurbishments, building services, remodeling and renovations for dwellings, commercial and domestic properties in North London and the surrounding areas.

Refurbishments, Renovations, Building works,Loft conversions, House & Kitchen Extensions, External and internal decoration,Bathroom installations, Kitchen installations, Plumbing and Heating, Electrical, Carpentry, Flooring
Tiling, Painting, wall papering or plastering, Guttering & Roofing,Roof tiling, Garage Conversions, Gardening & Landscape.

north london builders

Mill Hill Builders Mill Hill NW7

Mill Hill and Mill Hill Broadway is an area covered by the London Builders Robuild, including North West London.

We also have Plumbers, Electricians,Carpenters, Roofers in our team.

mill hill builders

House Extensions, Basements, Kitchens, Bathrooms, Renovation, Landscaping, Refurbishment, Loft Conversions, New Builds, Architects, Garage Conversions, Design & Build, Structural Works, Gardening,Restoration Works, Central Heating, Boilers, Electrical Works, Wiring, Rewiring, Plastering, Tiling, Carpentry, Roofing, Conservatories and other Building Projects.

Builders in Mill Hill, London

Brick Walls Pointing and Repointing

Pointing and Repointing a brick wall helps keeping the rain water and moisture from penetrating the brickwall, thus keeping the wall dry. Older brickworks will need repointing from time to time.

WALLS: Keeping the rain out
If the mortar joint between bricks has begun to crumble it should be repaired, not only for the sake of appearance,but to keep rain out of the wall. Rain alone is bad for a house, but the real danger is rain followed by
frost, for if water has soaked into bricks and then freezes, the surface of the brick can crack away, leaving a much
more battered-looking wall and a much bigger repair bill.
It’s cheaper and simpler to mend the mortar joint – called ‘ repointing’ by builders.

London Builders & Bricklayers offers you a guide to Pointing and Repointing brick walls.

Flush pointing: the mortar finishes level with the bricks, the edge is made roughly level with the trowel and then, when mortar has begun to dry, rubbed over with a piece of wood. Work carefully; don’t rub excess wet mortar into bricks, it will stain the bricks.
flush pointing brick wall house extension

Weather struck and cut pointing : gives best water defying finish; the slope helps water to run off. Formed by trowel held at an angle; then ‘frenchman knife’ is run along lower edge, on straightedge,to leave slight overhang.
weather struck pointing brick walls house extension

Tooled or rubbed pointing : mortar is pressed in and slightly hollowed by any suitably rounded tool – a piece of narrow pipe, an old bucket handle, or a piece of garden hose, rubbed along the mortar, giving curved finish to joint.

Recessed square pointing: mortar is rubbed with a steel tool – a piece of hardwood can be as good – of the right thickness. This pointing looks very handsome with rough-textured bricks, but isn’t ideal for walls going to get lots of rain.

Repointing the mortar joints between bricks

Unless you’ve only a small area of repointing to do, and that near the ground, hire a tower platform to, work from. Repointing isn’t difficult, but it will need all your attention and both hands,
and that isn’t possible if you are working from a ladder.
tower platform office

It’s worth practising on a small piece of wall where your first, probably messy, attempts won’t show. If you are repointing an entire wall you can pick any style of repointing; if you are doing only part of a wall it will look better matched to the existing sound parts.

Work from top to bottom of the wall, raking out the old pointing, and take the opportunity to clean down dirty brickwork at the same time.
There are brick cleaners you buy from a builder’s merchant. If there’s an odd defective brick you can cut it out with a cold chisel and club hammer and replace it with a matching sound brick.
(If there’s more than one or two together, best leave the job to a builder.) Apart from the tower platform, you’ll need a pointing trowel (like a bricklaying trowel but half the size) and you may find a dotting trowel (a very small one) useful too. Make yourself a ‘frenchman’- file the end of an old knife to a point, then heat the blade in a flame and bend it at right angles.
A straight-edge can be made from a piece of 2in. by 1 in. with one edge planed to a featheredge and a thin piece of ply or hardboard fixed at each end to hold it just clear of the wall.

A hawk, to carry a small amount of mortar while you are working, can be made out of a 9in. square piece of hardboard or ply screwed to a 6in. length of broom handle. Professionals mix their mortar on a spotboard, a 2ft. square board
raised clear of the ground.

The easiest way to get mortar is to buy dry ready mix: it is cheaper to mix your own (one part cement, two sand) and by
using coloured cements you can produce coloured pointing, but all the ingredients need to be passed through a fine
sieve to make sure there are no coarse particles. Whichever material you use, add clean water slowly until you have a
stiff mortar mix. If you make the mix too wet it won’t stay put between the bricks and in running down it will stain them. It should be just wet enough to be worked; if you/pick it up on a trowel and tip it sideways the mortar should stay put.

Contact us for a Quote for Pointing and Repointing walls, Chimney Pointing, brick pointing repairs,Lime Repointing, Masonry, etc in London. If the job is not too small, our bricklayers and builders can cover other UK areas.

If you build a House Extensions, Kitchen Extensions, Loft Conversions, Garage Conversions, or any other building that will complement an existing house or building, its always best to match existing type of pointing and brickwork.

Builder in Kensington and Chelsea Builders

Builders in Kensington and Chelsea, London

Robuild London Building Company covers Kensington and Chelsea and most of Central London and West London.

builders plumbers london

We offer all types of Building work Services, House Refurbishments & Flats Refurbishments, Loft Conversions, House Extensions, Bathrooms Renovations, Kitchens Renovations, Garage Conversions,Landscaping, Gardening, Driveways, etc.

Our Plumbers, Electricians, Painters & Decorators, Roofers and Carpenters, also cover the Kensington and Chelsea area. New plumbing installations, boilers, Central Heating,Underfloor Heating, Rewiring & Wiring, Electrical work, Roofing, Carpentry, Painting & Decorating.

Waterproofing walls, the damp proof course DPC

Waterproofing walls, the damp proof course DPC

WALLS, Dealing with damp

Rising damp is a problem with many older houses and buildings in London; the damp-proof course wasn’t adopted until late in the 19th century, and cavity walls were a 20th-century device.

The problem has become worse as big open fires are abandoned – these kept up sufficient draught to evaporate moisture from inside rooms and sweep it up the chimney. Without them, damp may cause damage.
There are some ways of keeping it out or at least keeping damp-stains off the plaster and wallpaper.
damp wall

Bricks suck up water like blotting paper; make them waterproof and damp will stay down at ground level. Builders’ merchants sell waterproofing solutions that, painted on liberally inside the damp wall and out, will, with luck, soak through, join up in the middle and form a waterproof barrier. Painted on the outside these solutions certainly help keep out driving rain, and once dry they are invisible. A more expensive but thorough treatment is to drip silicone waterproofing solution into the wall through tubes drilled into the bricks.
You can buy the solution and hire equipment, but it’s best for a specialist firm to do it.

Sometimes used with the dampproof solution method: porous clay pipes set into the wall where a damp-proof course
would be if you had one. They slope down slightly from inside to outside (where small grilles keep out the rain and inquisitive mice) and are set in a porous mortar. The idea is that moisture seeps into the pipes through the porous walls, then trickles harmlessly down the slope to the outside of-the wall.
No job for the amateur; your builder may be able to do it, or will more likely refer you to a
specialist firm. The job should last for at least 20 years. A good firm will offer you a 20-year guarantee on their work.

Electro-osmosis goes back to first principles to cure damp: what makes damp climb up a wall ? The answer is that there’s a minute difference between the electrical charge of the wall and that of the earth beneath it; take away the difference in charge and there’s nothing left to power the climb of the water.
Electro-osmotic damp treatment consists of driving small copper rods into the wall roughly where a damp-proof course would be, joining them with a copper strip, and joining the strip to an earth rod, a metal spike sunk well into the ground. Amateurs have done it, but it’s worth getting a professional job and a guarantee,usually 20 years.

Cutting right through the wall to insert a new damp-proof course sounds drastic, and isn’t a job for the ordinary householder to tackle. A special saw is used to cut through the mortar or bricks, a short length at a time, a damp course inserted and the mortar restored, before moving on to cut the next section. The completed work is usually guaranteed for 20 years or more. All these systems are fundamental cures: they stop damp getting into the wall. None are cheap. If it isn’t possible to use them, for financial or technical reasons, you will have to leave the wall damp and concentrate on protecting the inside of the rooms. In the picture below, modern DPC for cavity walls.

dpc kitchen extension walls

Contact us for a quote for your damp proofing problems.

West London Builders West London

West London Builders West London

London Builders cover West London area. New build residential projects, house refurbishments, flats refurbishments, loft conversions, garage conversions,new garages, sheds, offices and other building works.
builders team west london

Many properties can be extended or converted into extra spaces, we can take care of Planning Permission and Building Regulations for the Building Works if needed. Our Architect in West London will design the drawings. The Garage can be converted into an extra bedroom or living room, the Loft Space can be transformed into a Large bedroom with en suite bathroom. If you need a builder in West London, Contact us. We cover : Acton, Kensington and Chelsea, Knightsbridge, Notting Hill, Holland Park, Ealing and most of West London and Central London area.

west london builders van

We offer property refurbishment services, loft conversions, basement conversions, garage conversions, house extensions, kitchens and bathrooms, Listed Building and Conservation areas,landscaping, plumbing and central heating, electrical wiring and rewiring. Our Plumbers are Gas Safe Registered and the Electricians are fully qualified 17th Editions – NICEIC

Contact us for a free Quote or Estimate.
office builders

Plumbers in West London, Electricians in West London, Roofers & Carpenters in West London, Kitchen & Bathroom Fitters, Installers in West London, Painters & Decorators in West London, House Extension Builders in West London, Loft Conversion Builders in West London, Garage Conversion Builders in West London, Builders in Kensington and Chelsea, Builders in Knightsbridge, Builders in Notting Hill, Builders in Holland Park, Builders in Acton ,Builders in Ealing.

Isleworth, Acton, Eastcote, Bayswater, Charlton, Brook Green, Chiswick, Ealing, Uxbridge, Greenford, Hanger Lane, Hanwell, Hammersmith, Holland Park, Kensington, Elsham, Notting Hill, East Molesley, Ladbroke Grove, Marylebone, Mayfair, North Kensington, Warwick Avenue, Osterley, Paddington, Perivale, Shepherd’s Bush, Strand,Addlestone, West Brompton, Kensal Green, Queens Park, West Ealing, Building Company, Building Contractors In London.

Chelmsford, Builders in Chelmsford

Chelmsford, Builders in Chelmsford

Kitchens, Bathrooms, Decoration, Carpentry, Flooring, Plumbing, Electrical, Roofing, Driveways,Patios, General Building

They are able to cover all aspects of building services from extensions, total refurbishments and external re-decoration of apartment blocks to the simple loft conversion. Being highly skilled and professional team ,they take pride in knowing that we will complete the job with the up most of professionalism.The Chelmsford Builders work with local architects and various local authorities carrying out numerous projects ensuring they are carried out and completed to the highest possible standards.

House Extension Builders London Home Extensions Kitchen Extensions

House Extension Builders in London, Home Extensions and Kitchen Extensions, London area

Robuild London Builders
can build all types of property extension, house extension, kitchen extension, rear extensions,side extension, one storey, two storey or three storey extensions.
Our House Extension Building Company can offer a complete design and build service, including Loft Conversions or Garage Conversion.

West End, London

BBC has decided to close the well known Bush House, the building between Aldwych and The Strand in London at the southern end of Kingsway.
london bush house

The West End has always been Fun Town. After the Great Fire of 1666, rich citizens left the City and went west in search of leafy streets, brick houses and off-street parking for horses and carriages. Courtiers lived near St James’s Palace, but everyone else aimed north of that and around them popped up pubs, clubs, restaurants, theatres and shops.
west end london

The area swallows three postcodes: W1 (technically West London, but seen as central) and WC1 & 2. When people moan about “West End prices” or rave about “West End theatre”, that’s what they mean.

W1 is bordered by Piccadilly, Park Lane, Marylebone Road and Tottenham Court Road – divided almost literally into quarters: the broad, patrician streets of Mayfair; Boho-lite Marylebone; once-faded Fitzrovia; and compact, frenetic Soho. Running through the middle is high-street heaven, in the form of Oxford Street.

WC2 – Covent Garden, with its theatres, restaurants and famous market, the Strand and Trafalgar Square – is a natural bedfellow, all shops and pizzazz, but WC1, to the north and east, is utterly different. This is brainy London; home to Bloomsbury, academia and “Museum Mile”, including the British Museum, and London’s oldest universities.

There are no huge parks in the West End, the dominant form of open space being pretty, well-maintained squares, and it’s fair to say that it used to be a bit of a dump in parts. In the past decade the area around Regent Street has restyled itself as the Luxury Quarter, Carnaby Street has recovered its 60s mojo, Oxford Street is cleaner and better lit, Covent Garden is heading upmarket and the New West End Company – for development and trade – is investing £1.5 bn in the area.

A levy on West End theatre tickets may be needed to save some of London’s historic buildings.